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Clearing the BIOS password on a Dell D610

Seeing as I work in technology, that obviously means I’m the first port of call for friends/relatives with any kind of computer issue.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my wifes friends asked if I could take a look at her lappy – a Dell D610.
She hadn’t used it for a few years as she got a newer lappy, now couldn’t remember her password which left her husband SOoL when he wanted to take it with him whilst he’s away with work.
As here were a bunch of photos on there of their kids when they were younger I couldn’t simply reinstall the OS and go.
Getting the pics off was pretty easy – Installing the OS was not.
I managed to get the photos off with my trusty 3.5″IDE->USB adaptor.  Took the disk out, hooked it up to my MBP and copied them off.
Well, it wasn’t quite that simple as I didn’t realise OS X wouldn’t search an NTFS drive (probably something to do with spotlight writing the index but being unable to write to NTFS natively).
After a bit of drive wrangling, I managed to get the device to show up in Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion and quickly found the pics.
Right, just the OS to go.
I burned an iso of XP with SP3 slipstreamed in and went about trying to get the lappy to boot from CD.
Once I realised that the boot menu was having no effect, I checked out the BIOS.
Yup, completely locked out with an admin password.
This meant I couldn’t change the boot priority or anything.
Bugger.
A bunch of Googling turned me on to a method of wiping the BIOS completely by shorting out the EEPROM.
It took me a while to work it out and I absolutely refused to pay the jackass with the youtube video promising to show you how to do it for a fee.
So, in the interests of freedom of information, here is how to clear/reset/remove the BIOS password on a Dell D610.
Notes and disclaimer:
This worked for me.  If it doesn’t work for you, i’m not responsible for that.
You will be cutting metal from the casing.  You need to be careful not to leave any residue on the motherboard incase it shorts anything out.
As part of the process, your machines service tag details will also be cleared.
1. Get your BIOS locked Dell D610.
2. Get a paperclip or safety pin.
3. Get a phillips or crosshead screwdriver and some metal cutters (heavy duty wire cutters should do it).
4. Remove the power supply, battery, CD drive and HDD.
5. Unscrew pretty much all of the screws on the bottom of the D610.
6. Remove the bottom case.
7. With the rear of the laptop closest to you, you should see a white label covering the modem on your left.  There should be some black plastic covering which stops the CMOS from touching the motherboard.
8. Just above that, there are some holes in the metal casing. You need to access a chip underneath that area.
9. CAREFULLY remove the metal.
10. Take your paper clip and prepare to short out the two pins 2nd from the left.
11. Power on and short those pins for about 5 secs.
12. If you are doing it right you’ll hear the fan kick in.
13. This message will show on the screen.
14. You can either press FN+x or let it reboot.
15. Now you will be able to go to the BIOS and make whatever changes you need.
It’s actually a pretty simple process once you know what chip is where, although you must be extremely careful when cutting the casing.
I hope that helps someone and saves them a few bucks.

Seeing as I work in technology, that obviously means I’m the first port of call for friends/relatives with any kind of computer issue.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my wifes friends asked if I could take a look at her lappy – a Dell D610.

She hadn’t used it for a few years as she got a newer lappy, now couldn’t remember her password which left her husband SOoL when he wanted to take it with him whilst he’s away with work.  To make things a little less straight forward, there were a bunch of photos on it of their kids when they were younger, so I couldn’t simply reinstall the OS and go.

Getting the pics off was pretty easy – Re-Installing the OS was not.

I managed to get the photos off with my trusty 3.5″IDE->USB adaptor.  Took the disk out, hooked it up to my MBP and copied them off.  Well, it wasn’t quite that simple as I didn’t realise OS X wouldn’t search an NTFS drive (probably something to do with spotlight writing the index but being unable to write to NTFS natively).  After a bit of driver wrangling, I managed to get the device to show up in Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion and quickly found the pics.

Right, just the OS to go.

I burned an iso of XP with SP3 slipstreamed in and went about trying to get the lappy to boot from CD.

Once I realised that the boot menu was having no effect, I checked out the BIOS.  Yup, completely locked out with an admin password.  This meant I couldn’t change the boot priority or anything at all.

Bugger.

A bunch of Googling turned me on to a method of wiping the BIOS admin password completely by shorting out the EEPROM.

It took me a while to work it out and I absolutely refused to pay the jackass with the youtube video promising to show you how to do it for a fee.

So, in the interests of freedom of information, here is how to clear/reset/remove the BIOS password on a Dell D610.

Notes and disclaimer:

This worked for me.  If it doesn’t work for you, i’m not responsible for that.
You will be cutting metal from the casing.  You need to be careful not to leave any residue on the motherboard incase it shorts anything out.
As part of the process, your machines service tag details will also be cleared.

1. Get your BIOS locked Dell D610.

2. Get a paperclip or safety pin.

3. Get a phillips or crosshead screwdriver and some metal cutters (heavy duty wire cutters should do it).

4. Remove the power supply, battery, CD drive and HDD.

5. Unscrew pretty much all of the screws on the bottom of the D610.

6. Remove the bottom case.

7. With the rear of the laptop closest to you, you should see a white label covering the modem on your left.  There should be some black plastic covering which stops the CMOS from touching the motherboard.

8. Just above that, there are some holes in the metal casing. You need to access a chip underneath that area.

9. CAREFULLY remove the metal.

10. Take your paper clip and prepare to short out the two pins 2nd from the left.

11. Connect the power supply and power on whilst shorting out those pins for about 5 secs.

12. If you are doing it right you’ll hear the fan kick in.

13. This message will then show on the screen.

14. You can either press FN+x or let it reboot on it’s own..

15. Now you will be able to go to the BIOS (Press F2) and make whatever changes you need.

16. Reassemble the case

It’s actually a pretty simple process once you know what chip is where, although you must be extremely careful when cutting the casing.

I hope that helps someone and saves them a few bucks.

//ian

81 Comments

  1. Joe Lore says:

    Great post, only recommendation would of been to include a close up of the chip and mark exactly which legs to short out

  2. Macca says:

    @Joe Lore
    Yeh – I did try to get a close up but found it difficult not to obscure the picture with any annotations.
    Hopefully the ones I put up there ^^ will suffice for most people, after all it’s not something I’d recommend _any-old-person_ attempted 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    Hi, i found this blog while i’m searching for a solution to remove the Bios Password from my dell…and you’re the first who gives this information clear and for free…great. But i’m not sure which 2 pins you mean…the 2nd upper and lower or? Is it possible to send me a close up pic with a mark or a pdf file? If you send me your adress i will spend you some german beer :-). Regards from germany and sorry for my poor english…Mike

  4. Macca says:

    Hi Mike,

    I don’t have the lappy now (it belongs to a friend of the wife) so it’s not easy to get more pictures.
    Assuming you’ve located the correct chip in the picture above, place the laptop with the hinge at the bottom. The pin second from the left on the top row and the pin second from the left on the bottom.
    Both pins are opposite each other.
    I used an unfolded paper clip to short the two pins out.

    Hope that clarifies it for you.

    //ian

  5. Mike says:

    Hi ian, thanks for your reply.Now i understand:-)Greetz from ol’ germany, mike

  6. alae says:

    hi macca tks for ur explication and i wanna say u that i have a problem when i have shorted out the two pins is that i see nothing in my screen and also it appears that it isn’t operational (after shorting out my screen doesn’t work or turned on plzzz help me there is my email above)
    Tks a lot

  7. Macca says:

    @alae

    I’m not sure there is much I can help with.
    Is there no power at all or just the screen?
    Was the power on when you shorted the chip?
    Make sure all the connections are sound when you put the case back together.

    Thats about all I can suggest.

  8. bill says:

    Hey guys. You do not have to remove anything save for the modem/ battery cover the cmos battery and the HD for access. You can see the chip just underneath the base next to the cmos battery. I set my machine on end with the hd opening facing upwards. What you do is take a large paper clip and form it into a large loop. If you look into the hd opening you will see 2 small holes towards the chip (left side peering in). If you slide the clip into the upper most hole and use a light and peer inside you can touch the inner prong. then turn on the machine and flex the clip to the other accessible prong under the cover. They are the 2nd prongs from the top. I just did it and it worked on the first try!! Hope this saves alot of ruined boards with the cutting. I work for a refurb company and the cutting was NOT an option. Thanks for the info on how to do it too!

  9. corvintaurus says:

    Danke für deinen Tipp. Hardwaretechnisch finden man sonst garnichts über den D610.
    Danke!!
    Gruß Alex

  10. Macca says:

    @corvintaurus

    Bitte!

  11. vineet says:

    I am facing exactly the same problem, of BIOS been locked out, with just one exception. Its Dell E5500.
    Pls tell me, if I could try the above procedure with E5500.
    Thnx in advance.

  12. Macca says:

    @vineet

    I have no idea if this is relevant for a E5500 I’m afraid.

    Good luck!

  13. John Kofroth says:

    Thanks for the procedure to reset the BIOS password. It worked like a charm. I bought the D610 on EBAY and now all I need is to add a Hard Drvie and Operaring System.

  14. Lukman says:

    thank you for information, i sucsessfuly to resert bios del d 610

  15. lol74fr says:

    Works fine, without unmounting all (see Bill remark October 22nd, 2009 at 9:11 pm). worked at first trial.

    Pour les français, il s agit de court circuiter les deux broches du haut avec la pointe d’un trombone déplié. Positionner le D610 comme sur la vidéo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx5HBHgv8T8 .

    Positionner le trombone entre les 2 broches du haut du circuit intégré (on considère que les 4 broches visibles)

    , allumer l’ordi, le ventilateur démarre 5 sec après et le message apparait. Ne plus rien toucher et c’est bon il reboot ok.

    Merci à Ian et Bill en particulier!

  16. PAWAN says:

    this was one of best solutions ,i have come across..my regards to you my friend..i really saved lots of buks..keep it up

  17. Johnny says:

    Thanks for doing this!

    This saved alot of time. I did it without cutting.

  18. River says:

    Really this method work, I did it on the first try , my admin password was reset ,now it is working like a Pro. Thanks for share this info. God bless you Ian. Regards from Monterrey Mexico

  19. mervas says:

    I tried it and it worked great!!!! I used pin 3 and 6 though.
    Thanks!!

  20. Harindu says:

    Man, it didnt work for me. I kept for about 5 seconds but i just got a screen with Setup error. but i short circuited it while laptop was on battery power.

  21. Greg Wah says:

    Macca (and Bill 22 Oct 09)

    Great post – easy as you say it is, thanks for the guidance.

    Good work 🙂

    Cheers

  22. belta says:

    very easy the most difficulty was to know where is the cmos

    it’s ok vry good work

    thanks

  23. Ces says:

    Great post very informative…I have an old work D610 which was surplus and I have access to the BIOS but no matter what boot priority I have it won’t start from CD/ROM. Am I missing something?

  24. Ian says:

    Does it attempt to boot from the CD then move on to the next priority?
    What about using the boot menu? It should prompt for an F key, when POST has completed, to take you to the boot menu.

  25. Ces says:

    I even have the XP install disk and it spins a few times then continues to the next boot priority. Also, tried the boot menu and same result. The bottom line is that I want a clean install of XP without all the restriction of the current version since it was a work lappy. I also tried loading BartPE from disk with no luck. I’m going to build a BartPE/USB loader and see if I can reformat and load a fresh copy of xp.

    Thanks for your help.

  26. ces says:

    I know this is off topic but my boot problems have become worse. I installed ubuntu on part of the drive (different volume) then proceeded to format the volume where my xp OS was on….restart and it doesn’t boot. I have tried everything including XP boot diskettes and I get an error at the end saying inaccessible_boot_device. I’m fearing that I really screwed up this machine. I can access the bios but there’s nothing i see that can help me.

    Any ideas on how i go about fixing?

  27. izilda bella says:

    It works very well with the Bios. But I have problem with the password of the HD. I don’t remember.

    thank you

  28. KIC says:

    Gracias,funcciona

  29. Ken says:

    hi there… i’m having a similar trouble to alae… it doesn’t diplay/boot after shorting the pins.
    By the way, with power on, did u mean power to cord or actually switching the laptop on??
    i used the first i.e. simply having the power on for the power cord.

  30. usman says:

    Anyone! Please explain the meaning of Shorting the Pins, I cannot understand what is meant by this

  31. Usman says:

    I just contacted a friend and he explained the meaning of SHORTING THE PINS,

    that means connecting the two pins through some metal conductor that can be a paper pin or some electric wire

    hope it helps, i am still to try

  32. Old Computer Guy says:

    It Works with Bill’s comment. No need to cut away frame.

  33. mundodelpc says:

    GREEAAAT!! Thank you very much for your post. This is my advise:
    Instead of cutting off the piece of metal;using a paperclip using one hand touch one pin and hold in place. remember your computer is upside down. so remember to install the battery first,connect the lcd and the keyboard you will use it to confirm some commands. then make sure you know where the power button is because you won’t be able to se it. Once you press the power button you will have 2 or 3 secons to use the other and and tap,ta,tap the other pin,while your computer is trying to boot I did successfull remove my password.

    The second pins from the inside out from the picture
    this chip second pins from left. he means starting this side.
    Thank you.

  34. Peter says:

    from the 2nd left pins of the chip short the two pins in the middle that’s the second and the third pins using flat screw driver or solder wire for each pin whilst booting the system tap the two wires it will turn you to step 14 and 15. Remember short the 2nd and 3rd pins.

    You don’t need to cut anything if you know how to dis assemble your laptop its easier for you to do the task

  35. warx says:

    Thanks so much for this write up. Mundodelpc’s comments helped much.

  36. Shawn says:

    I am having a issue of not getting any power to my laptop. It was powering before I removed the cover but now it will not. Any tips?

  37. manana2012 says:

    Thanks for this! Worked on the second try. I tried to get Dell support, even paid. Call center in India was no help at all. This kept the laptop from the trash. No I have to deal with the HDD password but much less painful than the BIOS. Thanks again!!

  38. Amped says:

    Thanks, Great info! Once the bottom is removed you can use a horseshoe shaped piece of wire to hit both pins without cutting the metal. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  39. John says:

    Hi.

    Worked for me.

    Best if you have someone else to do the switching on.

    Know how to do it on any other laptops?

    All the best.

    John

  40. REDBUN says:

    Fkn legend, worked for me. You’re the man Ian.
    If you need more info on this, or want to just confirm you’re doing it right, email me at REDBUN18@Hotmail.com, subject ‘BIOS password on a Dell D610’.
    Or add me on Windows Live Messenger as well for even faster response.
    I can possibly even supply more pictures.

    Thanks a million Ian!
    Red.

  41. SALUM says:

    Thanks for this,it help me to solve the problem,can u help me please,to solve the same problem for the toshiba tecra a7

  42. george says:

    thanks so much sir, i was able to disable the bios from your tutorial. I didn’t cut the casing tho. I removed the battery from its place just so that i can see the pins and a little help from my daughter, she was the one who turn the laptop on while i connected both pins and it worked. thanks again and God bless

  43. Don says:

    This worked great for the Dell D610.
    but instead of taking it all apart , I used a tiny cutting wheel and cut a small window in the plastic, then used a pencil grinder to just notch where I wanted to jump. then completely blowing all debris from loptop. after reset , then glued window back on. to cover the complete window , I used an Avery#5267 Return Address with my Logo on it.

  44. Jamie says:

    This worked like a charm! I also was able to avoid cutting the bottom casing by taking a thin piece of wire (like a stripped trash tie) and shorting the pins that way. Also just needed to plug the power supply in for a few seconds (as the only power source), did not even try to turn on the laptop (quite a handful to). The next boot it went into factory mode as stated above. Thanks alot!!! CHEERS!

  45. Bob says:

    Good post, but you don’t need to cut & Hack..
    The frame is ground and the pin (second from left) that is seen from the battery/modem opening is the one that needs to be shorted to ground on the power-up. Just use your paperclip and lean it against the frame to short the pin while powering up… works great.

    Bob

  46. Gabriel says:

    Hi all. This was the only one that worked for me! But i facing a new problem now and that is: no service tag anymore in system info ! Is there any solution for that? Because i can’t set a new password without the service tag.

  47. Tannix says:

    This worked well for me as well, granted, this d610 is old and crappy, but plenty capable of running linux. Thanks bro!

  48. Abdul says:

    It work from the first time thanks

  49. Gerald says:

    thanks for the post. it worked for me, after several tries in connecting the two pins (“top” and “bottom”) 2nd from the left.
    But I didn’t have to cut out all the section, just the part at the second opening from the left. I used a dremel cutting tool.

  50. Mcdonald says:

    This works very well for D610.Thank you very much.
    How about how to remove HDDR password?
    The hard drive has a password.Anyone with the solution?

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